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12 Aug, 2015

Optimizing Your Mobile App Testing Effort

Mobile applications have significantly expanded the scope of a test effort primarily due to increased testing combinations that have become necessary. Compatibility testing on the various device, OS, screen resolution combinations cover app functionality, layout and rendering, performance, usability amongst other testing attributes. While it is a no brainer that we want to maximize test coverage, given the constraints around time and cost in app development and more importantly, there are smart ways to optimize test coverage, to reap maximum benefits, testers are always on the look-out for such best practices to arrive at the right mobile app testing strategy. Specific to Android app testing, there are human interface guidelines (HIG) published by the Android team helping testers identify a good suite of tests to cover for their application. Such a set if also available for iOS by Apple.

We at QA InfoTech, have been testing mobile apps for the last several years now. We primarily focus on iOS and Android app testing services that we have now built a separate practice, ATE that focuses on mobile application testing. Based on our experience, we recommend some tried and tested practices in formulating a robust mobile test strategy. These include:

  1. Functional issues are more OS dependent rather than on the device size or screen resolution
  2. User interface issues are more specific to a device size or screen resolution rather than on the OS and typically show the following characteristics:
    1. Different devices with same screen size and OS version would give identical results
    2. Devices with different screen size but identical OS version would give different results

With the above inferences, we target a test matrix which covers varied devices, screen resolutions and operating systems at least once. We also keep in mind usage patterns such that more tests are run on the heavily used devices in the market. With such an approach, we have been able to help clients reduce their mobile app testing time and cost by about 30%, bringing in significant market returns for them.

With newer computing technologies coming in around wearable devices, augmented reality, SMAC, and the never ending set of new devices that enter the market every few days, the mobile app test matrix will only get increasingly complex. It is in the tester’s best interest to optimize the testing effort, to keep the overall quality effort relevant, user centric and realistic in achieving business goals.

About the Author

Rajini Padmanaban Rajini Padmanaban
As Vice President, Testing Services and Engagements, Rajini Padmanaban leads the engagement management for some of QA InfoTech's largest and most strategic accounts. She has over sixteen years of professional experience, primarily in software quality assurance. Rajini advocates software quality through evangelistic activities including blogging on test trends, technologies and best practices. She is also a regular speaker in conferences run by SQE, QAI STC ,ATA, UNICOM, EuroStar and has orchestrated several webinars. Her writings are featured in TechWell, Sticky Minds, Better Software Magazine. She has co-authored a book on crowdsourced testing . She can be reached at rajini.padmanaban@qainfotech.com